Event review: Getting the message across: Clear writing tips with Frances Peck Reply

Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Karen Barry

Review of seminar Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips with Frances Peck (offered by EAC-BC on March 19, 2015).

Frances Peck is a writer, Honorary Certified Professional Editor, and long-time EAC member and volunteer. She has taught at the University of Ottawa, Douglas College, SFU, and UBC; presented seminars for EAC branches across Canada; and delivered training for a number of government and private-sector organizations.

One of Frances’ specialties is editing and rewriting for clarity, making her the perfect choice to teach EAC-BC’s recent half-day seminar, Getting the Message Across: Clear Writing Tips. The seminar focused on techniques to improve clarity in workplace and public documents to better communicate the intended message.

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Event review: Eight-step editing 2

Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Joanne King

Review of seminar Eight-Step Editing with Jim Taylor (offered by EAC-BC on February 21, 2015).

Jim Taylor has been a writer and editor since 1958. In 1971, he began teaching editing to business executives, using many of the concepts that would later become Eight-Step Editing. A casual mention of his process caught the attention of his EAC colleagues, and he was encouraged to develop it into a seminar. Jim confessed that, when first asked about the steps he used, he didn’t have a number in mind but surmised that it must be “about eight.”

In the spring of 1984, Jim officially rolled out Eight-Step Editing for EAC. Over the years, his seminar has achieved an almost-legendary status. Although Jim retired in 2007, he has graciously taught the seminar for EAC-BC a number of times since then.

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Event review: Language detectives: Part II Reply

Written by Stephanie Warner; copy edited by Meagan Kus

Recap of EAC-BC’s branch meeting on February 18, 2015.

I’m a fan of British murder mysteries and police procedurals, so it was a thrill for me to attend a talk by Dr. Lorna Fadden, a real-life language detective. Dr. Fadden is an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University, where she teaches introductory linguistics courses. She also researches in the following areas:

  • Canadian varieties of English and how language manifests online
  • discourse analysis (specifically, police interviews and internet luring)

Her website and SFU profile give detailed information on her research.

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Event review: Building a successful editing business Reply

Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Meagan Kus

Review of seminar Building a Successful Editing Business with Peter Moskos (offered by EAC-BC on January 24, 2015).

I was excited to see the topic for EAC-BC’s January seminar: Building a Successful Editing Business. The timing couldn’t be better—as a newish editor who is just venturing into freelancing, I really needed some advice in this area!

The seminar was led by Peter Moskos, a fixture within EAC and a member for 26 years. Now retired, he previously co-founded the highly successful Gordon Writing Group and was the company’s managing partner from 1995 to 2004.

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Book review: Yes, I Could Care Less 4

Written by Nancy Tinari; copy edited by Karen Barry

Review of “Yes, I Could Care Less: How to Be a Language Snob Without Being a Jerk” by Bill Walsh.

Yes I Could Care LessYes, I Could Care Less is a funny book for editors. It’s for editors because, like Bill Walsh, we care about words deeply. We recognize aspects of our own personalities in his self-mockery about his obsessive-compulsive quirkiness and his editorial pet peeves. It’s a book for editors rather than a general audience because Walsh, a copy editor at The Washington Post since 1997, tackles some of the most difficult copy-editing conundrums that often stymie editors. Topics include subject-verb agreement “follies” with expressions like “a lot” and “one of those people,” restrictive/non-restrictive clauses with their tricky use of commas and the which/that choice, how to handle trademarks, difficult decisions about hyphenation, and the pitfalls of typesetting technology.

Yes, I Could Care Less reveals what a subjective task editing can be. There are rules, style books, and house style guides, but there are many issues upon which even expert copy editors will not agree. The book opened my eyes about the potential for creativity and what Walsh calls “tiny acts of elegance” in editing work.

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Event review: Editing for the ear Reply

Written by Amy Haagsma; copy edited by Karen Barry

Recap of EAC-BC’s branch meeting on January 21, 2015.

To kick off 2015, EAC-BC hosted Colin Moorhouse at our branch meeting on January 21. Colin is a Vancouver-based speech writer; he also offers presentation training and speech-writing courses. He’s found it to be an interesting niche, as he gets to share in his clients’ passions and learn about a lot of different things.

Colin explained that one of the key considerations when writing a speech is that the end product will be read aloud. Therefore, a good speech writer must appeal to the ear rather than to the eye. Rhythm, pacing, and metre are very important, as is using a colloquial tone and plain language. Speeches also convey emotion more directly than the written word.

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